Team Community Oriented Policing
The University of Michigan Police Department is committed to the safety and well being of its community. While public safety is everyone's responsibility, the University of Michigan Police Department has adopted a philosophy called Team Community Policing (TCOP). With this philosophy we are committed to establishing a partnership with the community to problem solve and reduce crime, the fear of crime and improve quality of life issues.
Our community oriented policing program is designed to focus on the entire university community. The assigned patrol officer provides the daily policing needs of his or her assigned district.
Community Oriented Policing consists of three principal components, community partnership, problem solving and change management. Community policing seeks to build a strong relationship between the police, local government, and the community it serves. Through a collaborative effort, quality of life issues are identified and by examining criminal activity and the characteristics of problems, appropriate problem-solving remedies are applied.
Three Core Components
Campus Safety through the TCOP program seeks to establish and maintain an open line of communication and mutual trust with the community it serves. The assigned patrol officer provides localized coverage to the assigned focus area. Through a cooperative effort, acting together with students and staff members, they all team up to identify problems, define priorities and develop appropriate remedies. As an action team they strive to make on-campus living a safe and flourishing environment.
Problem solving identifies the specific concerns that effect the sense of well being of the community. These areas of concern then become priorities for joint police-community interventions. To minimize or elimination criminal opportunity is a central objective of this program. The Community Policing Consortium, a partnership of five of the leading police organizations in the United States, International Association of Chiefs of Police (IACP), National Organization of Black Law Enforcement Executives (NOBLE), National Sheriffs' Association (NSA), Police Executive Research Forum (PERF), and the Police Foundation, has developed the "SARA" model for achieving an effective problem solving technique.
Scanning: reoccurring problems are identified through the observance of patterns and reports.
Analysis: the targeted problem is analyzed for a fuller understanding of its causal factors. A critical factor of SARA is that remedies are based on facts and not guesswork. Such elements as victim, offender and location, which make up the three sides of the crime triangle, play an important role in the analysis process. People and agencies are identified in relation to their ability to assist in problem solving objective. For example, if the problem involved poor lighting in a particular location, the Facilities Department would be contacted to correct the deficiency.
Response: the causal factors having been identified, creative responses are then developed. The response addresses at minimum two sides of the crime triangle.
Assessment: the effectiveness of the problem solving effort is evaluated. Data is collected to determine if the response has been effective. If the response is effective, then it continues; if it is found to be ineffective, a new response is developed.
Effective community partnership and problem solving requires the adoption of a flexible style of management. Community policing values the role of the patrol officer as an individual who must show initiative and decision-making skills; therefore responsibility flows downward within the police organization. The community officer becomes responsible for managing the delivery of services to his/her assigned community and everything of a policing nature belongs to that officer. With this responsibility comes a wide-ranging discretionary and decision-making power. Under community policing, the officer is given broader freedom to decide what should be done and how it should be done in the community. The officer assigned to a particular community is believed to have a better understanding of the strengths and weakness of his/her community and is therefore in a better position to formulate effective solutions to local problems.